How We Wish Men Answered Our Bumble Messages

Saying “Hi” and “Hey” on Bumble (Tinder, OkCupid, Match, eHarmony, Hinge, etc.) is one of the worst ways to start a conversation. Just kidding we all do it. I mean sometimes swiping is like liking photos on Instagram – it could be more muscle memory than interest. Sorry, not sorry. And that shirtless, distant photo of you with the empty profile to match isn’t really telling us if you’re a bot or a boy.

Do You Want to Hook-Up?

But some of us girls have taken a different approach – a no B.S. approach if you will. Basically, we need to know if you are you a f*ck boy or if you’re looking for something more serious. I mean we all want a cuddle buddy and a dinner date every now and again but let me put it this way – is what you’re offering the $3 wine at Trader Joes or an aged Merlot from the wine shop?

We ask the questions. I know, men have said it sounds like an interrogation. But, it’s really just because you didn’t fill out your profile and I need to see more than a shirtless pic to go out with you.

So, what is it that us girls really want to hear when we message Mr. Hedge Fund on Bumble?

Everything a Girl Wants to Hear on Bumble:

What are you looking for?

A relationship (Marriage/commitment/don’t like other girl’s Instagram pics).

 

(Ok this is tricky. There’s a guy on Reddit who says he uses the line “meeting new people and seeing what happens,” but he always gets unmatched. Most guys answer the question a few different ways. I get that we both don’t know each other. So, honestly, we might just be friends or hookup or have a relationship. When I say I’m looking for a relationship – it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be with you – that’s just my intention.).

Do you Netflix and Chill?

I don’t know what Netflix is.

How tall are you?

6 ft something. (Other versions i.e. tall enough to lift you off your feet really just tells us you’re hiding something).

When was your last relationship?

2 years ago. (Anything along the lines of just got out of a relationship = rebound).

Do you think this will go anywhere?

It could if you join me for dinner at 8 on Friday night.

Conclusion:

Ever since recording my relationship podcast, Ok Cool, I’ve become obsessed with a few dating coaches/relationship experts. My absolute favorite dating coach is Matthew Hussey – let’s just say he has a monthly column in Cosmopolitan magazine and wrote the New York Times Bestseller “Get The Guy.”  He has a few tips on how to respond to men on dating apps/texting and how to get a relationship. P.S. He just got into a relationship a few days before Valentine’s Day. So, good things come to those who wait. Idk. Happy swiping.

 

 

 

 

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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I Need To Stop Breaking Up with My Boyfriend

“Just do it,” I looked at myself in the mirror.

I keep breaking up with my boyfriend. But I need to stop. I know I cared about him. I cleaned his apartment the second time I came over. I can’t go to the grocery store without wanting to pick out something for him. I can’t go a few hours without saying his name sometimes. If his name was a curse word, I’d be a sailor. I want him there when I go out and when I fall asleep. I care about my boyfriend.

I broke up with my boyfriend – or the guy I wanted to be my boyfriend – two months ago. And that lasted two days. I told you, I keep breaking up with him. He probably has stopped believing me when I say it’s over.

That’s why I’m standing in front of the mirror.

Is it normal to break up multiple times?

I was reading a Cosmo article and “an estimated 44 percent of people ages 17 to 24 have reconciled and started over with an ex, according to a recent study by Bowling Green State University and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.”

And I can testify that this vicious cycly is real. This was me at 24 when I started breaking up with my boyfriends and getting back together. Every guy I’ve tried breaking up with I came back to even if it was the next week and I told him he could come over if he didn’t kiss me. And guess what, it took about 30 seconds of him standing in my doorway for that post-breakup kiss.

But I needed to focus!

How To Break Up With Your Boyfriend:

I sent my boyfriend the breakup text.

“I cannot be your backup plan anymore…I cannot be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me or kiss me.”

I sent him this breakup text on Saturday night around 8 pm. The Cubs game was on. It was pouring rain.

Two hours later. No response.

Five hours later. Nothing.

The next morning. No word.

12 something – “Let’s air things out. I’ll call you later.”

I’m probably the worst person at breaking up with someone. I know what I want – a real relationship. But, men do this thing where they hook you without a commitment and they make you so happy and kiss you every so often and check-in on you enough that you become like a dog returning to its vomit. You can’t help but keep getting back together after his “hey. how are you?” texts and paying for his cheap beer – or even worse, stocking your pantry with his Tequila and Squirt and your freezer with frozen pizza for when you two get drunk together which is often enough.

If this were a terrible situation, you would get out. But, it’s not. And that’s why you can’t bring yourself to break-up with him.

You’re staring at your better half – you in the mirror – and convincing yourself that this guy, this man you’ve been dating all summer – is just not your boyfriend and most importantly, he doesn’t plan to become your boyfriend.

He tells you things like “I just got out of a relationship.” “You need to have patience.” or the best “I like how things are going and I see a future, but I can’t be your boyfriend right now.”

“Sweetie, when it starts to stink, you’ve got to take the trash out,” you look into the mirror and apply Dior lipstick.

“He doesn’t want to be your boyfriend.”

You’re standing there and then flip through Netflix and start re-watching Gilmore Girls – the one where Dean and Rory are being cute and get their first kiss in the market. Dean moved to Stars Hollow from Chicago, so this 20th time of watching Gilmore Girls re-reruns, you pick up on that and start falling for him like Rory did. You’ve seen where this relationship goes, but you can’t help but want it to keep progressing.

He – the boy you texted two days ago – finally calls. And, you finally have the small talk and then the talk. 

I don’t want to do this. I’ve tried all those games – not texting him back for 3 days. Going on dates with other people. Not inviting him to every event. And none of it worked.

I know that when I do this – when I sent the breakup text – when we had the talk – that I had to stop the games and stop wanting him to come back. I needed to stop this because being in this pseudo-relationship – the one where there’s no commitment. Where we can date other people. Where weekends are for our friends and family and you can have Tuesday night after 9 pm. I needed to be out of this limbo. This nothing that has turned into something to paraphrase You’ve Got Mail.

Again, I don’t want to break up with my boyfriend. I want to run into his arms and hug him and kiss him. But his kisses have become more reserved. He stopped adding “doll” or “babe” or “boo thang” to the text. I’ve become “hey.”

You think back to that fourth date. When he couldn’t go five minutes without wanting to kiss you.

You draw your face to your iPhone – we’re breaking up now. And you want to take in this last conversation. And this time, I mean the last conversation.

“I’d like us to still be friends,” he says. “I like hanging out with you.”

This hurts even more. I want that too – but I want to hang out with you and kiss you. I don’t want you flirting with other girls in front of me.

We say nice things like “you’re a great man, and handsome, and you have a good heart and a lot going for you.” He returns the gesture and says “you’re a good woman.”

And I say “okay.”

And just like that, it’s over. I block his number.

And then I do something dumb. I buy Halloween candy and buy a subscription to Match.com. I don’t know which one is worse – the candy or paying to find someone who wants to be my boyfriend.

After about four years of swiping and dating guys who were great but didn’t want to be my boyfriend, I’m taking things more seriously and upgrading to the world where people send you complete sentences and ask you questions like “what’s your favorite wine?”

You fall asleep numb.

The Day After You Breakup With Your Boyfriend:

I sit here. The very next day. And all I want to do is stay in bed and drink ginger tea and listen to r&b – that old school Usher. I put some foundation on. I straighten my hair and re-apply the Dior lipstick. I’m on my third outfit and the dishwasher is on. I finally ate something besides a mini Twix bar and it’s time to face the world. It’s time to stop thinking about this guy. This guy who I shared so much of my life with. Who was there for me when I finished the Chicago marathon – with flowers, a card, and an energy bar.

Who ran after me when we had our first kiss and I said, “I don’t want to kiss anymore frogs.” Who was my plus one to dinner parties and beer release parties. Who worked across the street from me downtown. Who made me feel giddy because he was so handsome and he had a good heart.

To say we didn’t have something was a lie. But according to How I Met Your Mother, you need two things to make a relationship work – chemistry and timing. And we only had one.

How To Leave Your Boyfriend and Not Text Him Back

So, what do I do now? How do you keep living life after you break up with the guy who has become more vital than your afternoon cup of coffee?

I text my closest friends and tell them I’m going to be texting them more.

I channel my energy into productivity. 

I already rearranged my apartment – you know for new energy.

I started drinking more – water that is.

And I go for walks. I enjoy the fall weather instead of sitting in bed.

This is day three. And I’ve re-read all of our texts. Gone through all of our pictures and remind myself that it was real. It was really great. And I’m one step closer to being with a guy who wants to be my boyfriend – because I didn’t just stay friends and leave myself emotionally and physically available to him.

I scroll through his texts again “You’re being cute today,” he would say. Day three is a bitch.

I check my phone every 5 minutes because I unblocked his number. I know, I’ll add self-control to the list.

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How I Prepared for Being on WGN Radio

Do you know the best way to prepare for being on the radio for the first time? Not just the radio, but WGN in The Chicago Tribune Tower. The answer is a tequila party.

Thursday, August 17, 2017, Amanda Elliott, founder of Windy City Cosmo was part of a special radio show – Pretty Late with Patti Vasquez Birthday Edition. We were celebrating Patti’s birthday and talking about dating in Chicago.

Since this was my first radio show – I had a few questions – like how long I was going to be on air, what topics they wanted to discuss, and most importantly – how would I sound on air.

So, I thought the best option to prepare for a late night radio show was to:

1) ask my friends who runs a podcast how I should prepare (check out Deena McKay from Black Tech Unplugged: A Tech Podcast here)

2) figure out the meaning of life – and read this blog post 

3) go to a Codigo Tequila tasting event before the show

4) make friends

5) invite a friend

6) take the PR girls’ advice and take the last bottle of tequila left at the party and bring it to the show

7) go to the Chicago Riverwalk and have a moment  (aka cry)

8) eat a Wonder Woman cookie

While this thought process may sound like a bad idea – it was actually the best thing that I’ve ever done. And not only that, being on the radio is by far the coolest experience I’ve ever had.

So, I know you want to know how this night unfolded. I’m going to say yes I made it to my interview.

I’m Going to be on The Radio:

It was finally the day – the day I was going to be on the radio. I had met Patti Vasquez at a Lollapalooza after party. I was talking to Ken Smith and pitching him to be on his show, The Mancow Show. We had met at brunch and after about a year or two of pitching, he finally said that he was doing me a favor by not putting me on his show. I later found out that it was the truth because I had dinner with Chris Bukowski, former Bachelor contestant, who was on The Mancow Show and he backed up what Patti described as being a pretty raunchy show.

Back to the story – so Ken told me to talk with Patti Vasquez at this Lollapalooza after party. I was in a sparkly dress from Akira – 3 fake tattoos in, with a donut hole from the donut wall in one hand and my second Jack and coke in the other. It was about 1 am. It was there that Patti and I talked about how I shouldn’t be on The Mancow Show, but should be on her show. Less than two weeks later – it was happening. I was going to be on Patti’s show!

The night actually started in the late afternoon when I got into a huge fight with the guy I’m dating. This is how all good stories start – with a fight. I walked away and he went on his guy’s trip.

About two hours later, I left work late and decided to go to a Codigo tequila launch party. I show up, unattached. After a few crab legs and a tequila drink, we made it to introductions. I had a fellow blogger from Chicagogrammers, a Chicago Instagram Influencer community,  meet me at the party.

There were a few notable people at the Codigo launch party including the Chicago Food Dude, Adam Soko,  who was there with Victoria Kent, Founder of the restaurant, hospitality and lifestyle company, Victoria Kent PR. Victoria immediately knew the show, Pretty Late with Patti Vasquez, because a couple of her clients were on the show. She advised to be calm and bring a bottle of alcohol to the show.

Later into the night I met the Account Director of Lion & Lamb PR, Amanda Watenberg, and Chief Strategy Officer at The Worth Agency, Shaena Flangan.  They helped me further prep by asking me questions about Tinder dates and what it’s like dating in Chicago. You know it’s bad when you start quoting 90’s country songs about a broken heart, John Anderson’s “Straight Tequila Night.”

Getting to the WGN Studio:

Around 11:30 pm it was time to walk the mile to The Chicago Tribune. Tequila bottle in hand, we were off.

This part of the night was the saddest. It was time to switch tequila for some fresh air. Me and my blogger friend, Lee from It’s In Chicago, took a walk on the river walk to The Chicago Tribune. It was here where I started to realize I’m about to be on air -where I thought about what I had to say. I thought about why meeting in person was important, but then how despite how much I wanted a career, I still wanted a man and that there’s no guarantee. No matter how many jokes you remember or dates that you go on, you can still end up swiping for the fifth year in a row to find your soulmate.

I heard my phone vibrate and two guys were texting me. It wasn’t the time for “why didn’t we work” texts. I sat on the river and put my hands to my face crying about my ex’s, about the fight I had with the guy I’m dating, and about being worthy enough to be on the radio. My friend, Lee just stood there – he let me cry. And then he nudged me – assuring me to dry my eyes because I had a job to do.

The Green Room:

We made it to The Chicago Tribune and checked in. I’m not going to lie, it was an incredible experience. I literally had so many strangers help me prepare for this moment. We went to the green room and we took all the back stage photos we could. It was a special night because there were Wonder Woman cookies. I felt that extra boost of confidence  – that women were supporting women.  And, also bloggers were helping bloggers.

 

 

On Air:

It was finally the moment I was waiting for – being on air. We were escorted to the iconic WGN radio studio, where I learned it was Patti’s birthday. We all took a group photo.

This special edition included Dan Kotowski (Child Serv), Scott Stantis (Chicago Tribune Cartoonist), Rep. Anderson, and Rep.  Ann Moller, Amanda Elliott from from Windy City Cosmo and Comedian Paul Farahvar, host of the Podcast “Singles Only”.

I had the pleasure of being on air with the host, Patti Vasquez, Dan Kotowski (Child Serv), and Comedian, Paul Farahvar.

Once we went on, it was like having a normal conversation. We literally talked about dating faux pas like using a Groupon on a date, and about where we find men. Then we went on to talk about ghosting and how to get out of a bad date.

It was a perfect evening. We closed the show at 2 am, when we all got a moment to share our gratitude. I felt so encouraged to do this segment and supported by friends and party goers alike.

In the segment I said, “I’m just thankful for the Chicago community. There’s really great people who are actually supportive of your goals and dreams. The bloggers – I mean I’m part of Chicagogrammers and the person who is here tonight is part of Chicagogrammers and they’re all very supportive of helping you reach your goals so that’s huge that we actually care about each other.”

I feel like Chicago is a special city with a great sense of community and support not only in business and blogging, but in life. Lucky to be Windy City Cosmo and live here and date here and write another chapter of my life here.

What I learned from being on the radio:

There’s a few things I learned from this experience.

1) You never know who you are going to meet at brunch.

2) Be persistent – even if you don’t get the job or the opportunity you were pitching, it might lead to a better pitch.

3) Build a support network – tell people about what you’re doing and help one another.

4) Take lots of photos.

5) Bring a gift – even if it is a bottle of tequila.

You can listen to the full show here. My segment starts an hour into the show. Let me know what you think about dating in the city and about preparing for a big presentation or event in your career. Cheers!

 


 

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The Founder of OkCupid Talks Soulmates

Love. It’s in an algorithm. At least according to Sam Yagan, a mathematician who founded OkCupid.

Yagan and I met in the back room. As a serial entrepreneur, who is now investing his resources in Chicago, he gave an hour talk about entrepreneurship to a group of young professionals from Ivy, the social university. I said I appreciated the talk, but I was hoping to speak to him more about love and relationships.

He was agreeable, and I started talking with Yagan about the matters of the heart and how science can prove compatibility.

“Our match percentage is uncannily good,” Yagan said about OkCupid, a dating website which was started by four math majors. It works so that the more questions you answer (which should be about 100), the better your match percentage will lead you to someone compatible.

These dating questions range from asking about religion to asking about your level of cleanliness.

Dating Apps: How to Compete in the Game of Love

“I think each dating product has its own strengths,” Yagan said. He noted that dating apps like Tinder use your social network and attractiveness to find your companion. Later on, Yagan moved on to be the CEO of Match.com, when OkCupid was acquired by Match.com.

Overall, his experience with founding startups has taught him that if a competitor is really good at one aspect of the business, then you cannot compete in the same industry at that level.

“You have to change the rules of the game. You can’t outmatch match.com. Match spends a lot of money on tv advertising,” Yagan divulged, “What OkCupid did was that we said we were going to be free. We started a blog that exposed vulnerabilities of our business. We became the reference brand of online dating because we had this data to share that Match.com didn’t.”

Average Looking and Dating:

During Yagan’s lecture, he emphasized the importance of starting a startup because you are trying to solve a problem.

So, it was only fair to ask him what problem he was solving by founding the dating site, OkCupid, “We believed we could predict compatibility using math.”

I liked that answer. We all have our lists of criteria that we want in our soulmate. And here, Yagan and his team were trying to use numbers instead of physical attractiveness and a meet cutes.

“Most people are average looking. That’s the definition of average,” Yagan went on about dating profiles, “With the match percentage, it gives you a reason to give someone a second chance or a first chance.”

After his dip in the dating apps and website business, Yagan has moved on which he considers similar to the experience of “when your kid goes to college, you know your kids want to leave the house. You don’t want your 26-year-old to live with you.”

With all of this data on love and relationships from his dating website, Yagan said that OkCupid broke barriers like height differences and racial barriers.

We concluded with that one question we have when we are dating – and that is – is there just one person out there for us – do we only have one soulmate?

Yagan smiled and said, “No.”

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The Relationship App Every Successful City Girl Needs

It’s not every day that women admit that they need help.

But cocktails with the girls usually turns to talking about men, and we all know the casual questions that lead to excessive Tequila shots later.

Who are you seeing?

What dating app are you on?

I wish this was cliché, but in my first night out this weekend, it was true for both my Saturday night chatter at the J. Parker  with friends and during a Sunday media brunch at Osteria La Madia.

Successful Women with Dating Problems:

We all have a life or are “working on ourselves.”

We are doing yoga, our jobs are better than average and so is our skin at this age. But why is it that we are always mentioning Brad from next door or sharing Bumble profiles and Tinder dating stories over our mimosas?

Well someone decided to do something about these routine conversations—make a relationship app at 1871, Chicago’s tech mecca.

LUV TALK Co-Founder, Gwen Washington, a thirty-something Chicago city girl with a background in counseling, has pulled together a team of fashion stylists, therapists, and (divorce) lawyers, or as she likes to call them “gurus,” to answer love’s toughest questions.

The gurus specialize in various age to help with relationships and life tips. The relationship app will allow a private mini session with the guru to ask anything you want.

Who Do You Go To For Relationship Advice?

So, who do you go to for dating advice?

“People laugh and say, ‘Google,'” says Washington, who found herself helping her friends with relationship advice.

“There’s a lot of ways to meet people, but when you meet them, what do you do?” Washington asks.

Every girl knows this dilemma. I was talking with a new guy once and my friend looked over at my messages.

“You sound too direct.”

“Be flirtatious.”

“Wait a few minutes to respond.”

“Are you wearing that on your date? Let me help you.”

I found myself not knowing I needed help, when I did.

In the dating world, saying what you want when you want to and just being you, doesn’t really work. It’s not playing games, it’s just dating.

“Women need relationship advice more than men, ” said Washington,”I think the most important thing in finding the one is [to] find someone that makes your life better and you can’t imagine being without.”

Developing a Relationship App: The Details:

LUV TALK is Washington’s first app.

And like most Chicago app developers, she found a void and is seeking to fill it.

To do this, Washington put together a diverse app team not only ethically, but also in terms of their relationship status, to help her build the LUV TALK relationship app.

The LUV TALK team will be moving into 1871 this spring to develop the app for a summer launch.

It will originally target single women or those in relationships in Chicago and then move into larger markets.

But, her team isn’t the only place that she is gaining insights and data for the relationship app.

She has also partnered with a friend’s meetup group in Chicago to gain insight from focus groups.

Calling All Single City Ladies:

Currently in the data research stage, Washington’s app idea, LUV TALK, is available in the desktop version for Chicago single women to start asking questions on forums.

If you want to be more involved, Washington is holding a LUV TALK Ladies Event over bottles of wine at Tango Sur (3763 Southport Ave.) in Lakeview on Saturday, March 19, 2016. You can RSVP directly on Facebook or by emailing: recommended-gwen@myluvtalk.com

LUV TALK Relationship App Launch Party:

Washington’s app will be available later this summer on Saturday, June 11, 2016,  at a launch party at the Public Hotel. For ticket information for the LUV TALK app launch party, click here.

 

 

 

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